Tuesday, May 16, 2017

Needlework Tuesday - New projects

Needlework Tuesday is an occasional post detailing my needlework and/or crafting projects.

Wow. I've really gotten out of the habit of posting on this blog. I had a post mostly written for last week, but never got around to posting it. Since then I've put most of my projects aside to tackle a new one (more about that in a minute). Once this new project is more underway, I'll get back to some on-hold projects and post about them at that time.

So, the newest project I started is a mystery Knit-A-Long (KAL) for Joji Mystery Wrap. My local yarn store and other sources were promoting it quite a bit and that peaked my interest. Joji (pronounced Hohee, I believe) has given us a few indications about what we are knitting, it's a large wrap, but other details are being kept under wraps. ;) Each week she sends out a clue, which has instructions on how to proceed.

I don't like time constraints that much, but with this one I'm determined to keep up with the weekly clues. So far Clue 1 has been sent out and I'm just about done. The next clue should arrive late Thursday or early Friday.

I had purchased some yarn for the project, but at the last minute I decided to go a different route and use some yarn from my stash.  My choices don't exactly follow Joji's suggestions for yarn colour, but I'm going with it anyway. I can show you the yarn I've chosen, but I'd prefer to keep the knitting part a secret until the end...well, at least for a bit longer. I don't want to give anything away for my fellow KALers. Here are my colours:


If nothing else, the wrap will be colourful.  ;)

Just before I started the KAL, the next project from the Mary Maxim's Knit Club of the Month showed up in the mail. While I don't love this one either (I'm starting to sound like a broken record), I decided it was time to tackle one of these. The pattern for this throw (or what I'd call an afghan) is 16 rows and is pretty simple. The repeating fan pattern has only one tricky bit every few rows. I especially like that the WS rows are all just working the stitches as presented. Perfect for TV knitting. Hopefully, before it's done I'll have memorized the pattern. Here's the project and what I've done so far:




This week I'm going to be concentrating on the KAL. If I find time or finish early, I'll take a look at one of my other projects.

Needlework Tuesday is hosted by Heather over at Books and Quilts.    If you'd done any crafting this week that you'd like to share with others, please head over to Heather's blog and use the Mr. Linky to link up your post, so others can enjoy your creations.  

Wednesday, April 26, 2017

Needlework Tuesday - Flooding and Summer Tops

Needlework Tuesday is an occasional post detailing my needlework and/or crafting projects.

Has it really been a month since I last posted? It really has been busy around here.

I'll get to the knitting in a minute, but first I wanted to post a brief update on the flooding of 2017. I was going to do some separate posts, but decided against that for various reasons. It was quite an adventure with water level forecasts ranging from "minor inconvenience" to "major flood event" all within 48 hours. It eventually ended up with the peak somewhere in the middle of all of that. Here are a couple of photos of my backyard, before and after:

Backyard before

Backyard after

Normally, the river is about 700 ft from our house, but here it's about 70 ft from the house. It's gone down quite a bit since then, but there's still plenty of water around. Some of the land is lower than the river, so at some point it'll be landlocked and will likely stay around for a couple of weeks.

Now on to the knitting...

First up, the Handmaiden's Bias Shawl. This one turned out okay and works great as a scarf, but it's a little too short to wrap comfortably around my shoulders as a shawl. The fact it's biased makes this even worse. The instructions say that it may stretch a bit when worn, so maybe it'll be okay after awhile. I might try to block it to see what happens. My photographer is busy painting today, so here it is on the back of a chair:



I finished knitting the summer top from Shibui called Interval. It knit up surprisingly quick and it now blocked and ready for assembly. I learned a few new techniques for this piece and am loving how it looks so far.



The next project from the Mary Maxim's Knit Club of the Month showed up in the mail a couple of weeks back. It's a shawl, but not one that thrills me. I haven't decided yet if I'm going to make this one.  If I don't, that'll be three projects in a row that I don't like.  If this trend continues, I may have to cancel my membership.



Finally, I've started another summer top, this one from designer Stephen West. It's called Banaue Breeze. I'm using some yarn I bought for another project that didn't quite work out as planned. The yarn is quite funky, so I was looking for a funky piece that would suit it. I'm hoping this works.


The top is unique in that it's knit in two halves, starting at the arm hole, and seamed in the middle.   I had a really rough go of it so far.   I must have tried the cast on a dozen times before getting it right or somewhat right enough to continue.   I had to learn what provisional stitches were and apply that knowledge to working in the round.  I abandoned the idea of using the magic loop technique at the same time by switching to a smaller circular needle.   I'm so glad I got it figured out.  I didn't want to abandon this one.  

I'm trying to come up with a name for this one.  Since I'll probably never get to the Banaue in the Philippines, I'm thinking closer to home.   The colours remind me of autumn or harvest...Harvest Breeze...Autumn Breeze...or Prairie Winds...or Manitoba Mayhem.  Still thinking.

I have a few other things to report, but I'll leave that until next time. This coming week I'm going to hopefully assemble one summer top while continuing to knit the other.

Needlework Tuesday is hosted by Heather over at Books and Quilts.    If you'd done any crafting this week that you'd like to share with others, please head over to Heather's blog and use the Mr. Linky to link up your post, so others can enjoy your creations.  

Tuesday, March 28, 2017

Needlework Tuesday - Sick, Knitting, and Flood

Needlework Tuesday is an occasional post detailing my needlework and/or crafting projects.

My husband was kind enough to share his cold with me, so this week I've spent a lot of time knitting and not much else. I was able to finish one project, make good progress on another, as well as start a new one!

First up, the finished one. The Hidden Gusset fingerless mitts are done. After having a stitch count issues with the first one, the second one knit up quickly without a hitch. My notes and stitch counts from the first one were very helpful and saved tons of time. Here they are:





I'm blown away that they almost match despite no winding off yarn or planning on my part. Even the thumbs match the hand part. Woohoo! Now that I'm familiar with the pattern and know where the tricky parts are, I'd love to make another pair with a solid colour yarn or at least one that has very subtle colour changes.

Next up, a new project from last week, the Handmaiden's Bias Shawl. This one is a very simple pattern...only two repeating rows.
Row 1: K
Row 2: K1 *yo K2tog, repeat from * to end.

How simple is that! It's knit with two yarns (silk boucle and fine mohair) held together. I'm still not loving the boucle, but I'm getting used to it. Even though the pattern is simple, I managed to screw it up a few times. I probably missed a yo or K2tog. We had a couple of nice days and I was knitting outside for a bit to enjoy the sunshine. Lots of distractions out there. Anyway, I managed to catch it but not before screwing up the edge in one spot. I thought I might do more harm than good by frogging back, so I did a quick fix and moved on. I don't think anyone, but me, will notice.  Since I'm pretty close to done, I'll post a photo next time.

Finally, I was able to start the summer top I've been eyeing for awhile. It's from Shibui and is called Interval. The majority of the top is knit in reverse stocking stitch. I'm taking bets on how long it'll take for someone to ask me if I'm wearing my top inside out. It appears that I'll be learning a few new skills with this project, starting with the German Twisted Cast-on. The pattern designer kindly pointed to a YouTube video, which was extremely helpful, with one exception. She compared this cast-on to long tail cast-on, which I'd heard of, even looked up once, but never learned how to do. I got the hang of it pretty quickly and was able to knit quite a bit of the back this week. Here's a shot of the yarn and a little snippet of the side and bottom edge:


My knitting isn't quite as tidy as I'd hoped it would be. It's just stocking stitch after all, so I'm not sure why it's uneven and wonky-looking.  I'm using metal needles and the cotton yarn is slipping a little, so perhaps that's it.

This coming week, I'm going to finish the shawl (hopefully) and continue to work on my summer top. I might start another smallish project to knit if I get bored of all of the stocking stitch in the top, but I'm not sure what that's going to be yet. Stay tuned....

In other news, we've been hearing reports of a potential flood again this year. The last big one was 2014. However, we also had water in our backyard in 2015. Because there are so many factors involved, we aren't sure yet how much water we'll get or how long it'll stick around. From here forward, I'll post updates and pictures in separate posts.

Needlework Tuesday is hosted by Heather over at Books and Quilts.    If you'd done any crafting this week that you'd like to share with others, please head over to Heather's blog and use the Mr. Linky to link up your post, so others can enjoy your creations.  

Wednesday, March 22, 2017

Needlework Tuesday - A whole lot of knittin' goin' on.

Needlework Tuesday is an occasional post detailing my needlework and/or crafting projects.

It's spring. Well, sort of. Yesterday and today are a bit cooler, but after that it's going to be lovely. I've been busy enjoying the warmer weather as well as knitting up a storm. I finished two projects, started a new one and, picked up one that's been sitting for awhile. Go Me!!!!

The other Shibui Yarns scarf that I was working on is finished. Multigrain is a fabulous scarf that uses three different yarns for great texture. All sections use two strands of yarn held together as one. Some times it's two strands of the same yarn, other times it two different ones.  It's supposed to be done in one colour, but since I was buying my yarn on sale, I had a more limited colour selection. I went with 2 colours and couldn't be happier with the result. It's quite a wide scarf, so there's a number of ways to wear it.






What appears to be a solid light/apple green section in the middle is actually three sections using two different yarns in the same colour.  It's hard to tell that though because the yarns are so similar.   I love this scarf!!!!

The other project I finished was the shawl/scarf from Diamond/Katia using their Spring Rainbow yarn.   I realized that I picked the colourway that is the least "springy".  However, the others ones were more pastel and that definitely ain't me.  It turned out okay, but I didn't love the yarn structure. As I wrote on raverly.com, this shawl is a really quick, easy knit. I'm a little disappointed that I finished the shawl before I got to use the end of the yarn which was solid black....one of the reasons I purchased this colorway. Perhaps I should have started with the black. However, I was worried that pulling this yarn from the centre was going to create a huge mess. There's no twist to this yarn and it's basically 4 separate strands. I wasn't sure I'd be able to find the beginning without getting it all tangled up. The other option was to rip back to the centre point and make the shawl bigger. I wasn't sure how much bigger I could make it, though, so I just followed the instructions. I'm happy with it regardless. It's another scarf that can be worn a couple of ways.





The new project I started was from a kit I purchased from my local yarn store. The pattern is Handmaiden's Bias Shawl, available for free on ravelry.com. The only difference is that the kit suggested I use two yarns (Handmaiden Fine Yarn Angel Hair and Handmaiden Fine Yarn Rumple held together as one) instead of just the one suggested by this particular version of the pattern. It gives the shawl a slightly different look. I've only just started this one, but I already know that I don't love knitting with boucle yarn. It's bumpy texture takes a little getting used to and really messes with my tension. Here's what I have so far:

The last thing I've been working on is the Hidden Gusset fingerless mitts that I started quite awhile ago. I had almost finished one of them, but put it down because I had had various problems with it and wasn't loving it. After some time away from it, though, I'm finding that absence really does make the heart grow fonder and I now like this project enough to continue. I've add the thumb to the first mitt and have started on the second one. I still wish I had used a different yarn, but I'm okay with how they are turning out.  I'll post a photo of the pair when they are done.

Whew! I told you I've been busy. The coming week, I'm going to continue working on my WIPs as well as get a jump on a summer top that I've been meaning to start. If I don't do that soon, I'll have to wait until next summer to wear it.

Needlework Tuesday is hosted by Heather over at Books and Quilts.    If you'd done any crafting this week that you'd like to share with others, please head over to Heather's blog and use the Mr. Linky to link up your post, so others can enjoy your creations.  

Tuesday, March 7, 2017

Needlework Tuesday - Scarves

Needlework Tuesday is an occasional post detailing my needlework and/or crafting projects.

I guess it's been a few weeks since I posted an update on my knitting. I've made some progress on some of the projects I was working on. However, some have fallen by the way side and are threatening to become UFOs. I hope to take a look at those this week and get them moving again, but in the meantime here's what I've been working on...

I finished one of the scarves, Tier, from Shibui Yarns. I made it longer than the pattern called for because I wanted to use up the reminder of the yarn. No use keeping less than 80 yards of speciality yarn around when it can easily be used up in the current project. I also added an extra 3 rows of dropped stitches (like those on either end of the scarf) about 2/3 of the way so it has a asymmetrical look.  You can just about see them on my upper back/shoulder.  Blocking flattened it out quite a bit, but the edges are still rolling at the slightest touch. Stupid stocking stitch. Despite that, I love this scarf.


I also started another project. I wanted something really portable for a short trip we took last week. What's more portable than a single ball project. It's sort of a shawl/scarf-in-a-ball kind of thing. I don't love the yarn because there's no twist to the threads. It's just 4 strands, which give me plenty of opportunity for split stitches. Also, I would have loved a little denser fabric for this shawl/scarf but I only had one set of needles with me. It's turning out okay regardless.


This Spring Rainbow yarn (colorway 52) goes from taupe to white to black, changing one of the threads at a time so there's a nice progression.  Currently, I'm knitting with two taupe and two white strands.  The most unfortunate part is that there's a knot in all 4 strand with every change. Some knitters have been untying these knots and retying it so that ends can be woven in, but I'm leaving the factory knots as they are. I hope I don't regret this decision.  What do you do with factory knots?

The next project from the Mary Maxim's Knit Club of the Month showed up in the mail yesterday. This time it's a mitered pillow. The kit comes with one pillow form and enough yarn to make both pillows in the pattern photo. Meh. I like the colour of the yarn I was sent; a mix of rich blues and pinks. However, the pillow style doesn't thrill me. I'm pretty sure I'm going to pass on this project and just add the yarn to my stash. If you remember, last month I received a kit for leg warmers and matching mittens. I still haven't decided on those yet, but it's not looking promising. Perhaps next month I'll get a project that I'll like.  Here's the pillow pattern and yarn:


That's it for this week. I'm going to continue working on my WIPs.

Needlework Tuesday is hosted by Heather over at Books and Quilts.    If you'd done any crafting this week that you'd like to share with others, please head over to Heather's blog and use the Mr. Linky to link up your post, so others can enjoy your creations.  

Wednesday, February 8, 2017

Needlework Tuesday - Too many projects - On Wednesday

Needlework Tuesday is an occasional post detailing my needlework and/or crafting projects.

Last week, I wrote about working on 3 projects and starting a 4th. Well, I think I've now spread myself to thin because while I worked on all of the projects this week, I don't have much to show for it. I do have a few things to write about...

First up, the Hidden Gusset fingerless mitts. I have one almost complete. Just need to do the thumb. I'm not totally happy with it, though. It's not quite as snug as I'd like it, especially at the top around the fingers. I guess it'll be good if I'm working on something and need good dexterity. Since I've already started this one twice, I'm probably going to make the other one. Maybe they will grow on me. I'll post a photo once the thumb is done.

Last week, I mentioned a project that was in the planning stages. Well, I started it. I'm using the Sand Layers pattern, but I've renamed it "Sky Layers" because I'm using leftovers from my sky scarf. Since the pattern only uses two colours and I wanted to use 5, I sat down and planned it out. At least, I thought I did. Once I started knitting, though, I realized that my planning wasn't all that thorough. I've already made some changes on the fly and I still refining the colour changes. I hope to get it more ironed out before I continue. I really don't want to be ripping out another project. Here's what I have so far:

The colour is off in the photo.  It starts off with light grey then goes to charcoal and finally light blue.
The latest project from the Mary Maxim's Knit Club of the Month showed up in the mail yesterday. It's a leg warmer/mitten set. My first thought was "Leg warmers? I haven't worn a pair since the late 70s." My second thought was "Sure. Why not? I sort of like the yarn." My third thought "Hmmm...Am I really going to wear these? Mary Maxim sent me a project last year for boot cuffs, which are like short leg warmers. I made one. Didn't like the way it fit. Didn't make the other." I'm still having thoughts and am not sure what I'm going to do with this yet. Here it is:


Two things about the photo struck me as odd.

  1. It's winter and she's not wearing socks. My feet are never cold in winter and I walk around barefoot in the house all of the time, but I'd never put on boots without socks. 
  2. Why go through all of that work to hide the leg warmers under the boots? Is that the way they are supposed to be worn? Back in the 70s, I wore them instead of tall boots. That is, with runners to keep my legs warm or with short boots. Either way, it showed them off. 

Was that the style back then or was that just me?  Has that changed? Anyone know?

Lastly, Kate over at Art and Socks asked me to friend her on ravelry. Well, I was a little embarrassed that I'd been using ravelry for patterns, but hadn't actually put any of my projects on there. That has been remedied. In fact, I had a lot of fun going back over some old projects and putting them up on the website. I didn't realize how easy it was. I still have a bunch of previously finished projects that I'll be adding as time goes by. Going forward, I hope to do add the project as soon as I start it. So, if you are reading this and are also on ravelry, feel free to friend me. I'm ILoveSpring. LazyDaisy was already taken. I still have to figure out how to put a ravelry button on my blog.

That's it for this week. I'm going to continue working on my WIPs.

Needlework Tuesday is hosted by Heather over at Books and Quilts.    If you'd done any crafting this week that you'd like to share with others, please head over to Heather's blog and use the Mr. Linky to link up your post, so others can enjoy your creations.  

Thursday, February 2, 2017

Needlework Tuesday - Project updates

Needlework Tuesday is an occasional post detailing my needlework and/or crafting projects.

Happy Groundhog Day!! Here in southern Manitoba it's a bright sunny day. So, it looks like we will have six more weeks of winter. We didn't see our resident groundhog (the one who lives in our neighbourhood forest); I'm sure he's sound asleep in his den. I know I would be if I had six more weeks to snooze. Oh well. Six weeks would take us to mid-March, which is usually when we see warmer weather anyway.

This week I worked on a number of projects. My Shibui scarf called Multigrain is going rather well and I'm pleased with it. I'm currently on the second section. For this scarf, you knit with two yarns held together as one using seed stitch throughout. There are three yarns: A, B,C. You change one yarn out for another at the end of each section, like this: A+A, A+B, B+B, B+C, C+C, C+A, A+A. That's it. I'm knitting it from right to left because I mistakenly didn't get all of my B yarn wound. Not that anyone would know. Last week I mentioned that the scarf was supposed to be all one colour, but because I couldn't find all of the yarns in one colour on sale, I opted for two different colours. So far, I'm liking the effect. Here's what the first two sections looks like:



The other summer scarf is also going well. The pattern is Tier from Shibui Yarns. However, I can't decide how long to make it. The pattern offers two lengths and I originally thought I'd make the longer one and purchased the yarn accordingly. However, now I'm not sure. I'm just over halfway through the second of three balls and it already looks long enough.  Well, that is once I do the other end of dropped stitches. If I do go for the shorter length, I'm stuck with the dilemma of what to do with the remaining ball of yarn. It's small (50g, 174yds), so it's not enough to make anything and its fibre content of linen, silk, and wool, makes it a little more limiting. It's also quite expensive, so I don't want to use it up any old way.  I think I've just talked myself into making the longer one. ;) Here's it is:


It's stocking stitch so it's knitting up quite quickly. Please tell me that blocking will take out some of the edge rolling.

I did start one more project, Hidden Gusset fingerless mitts. Actually, it's a restart. The first time I attempt this one was a few weeks ago I ended up with some wonky stitch counts. This time, I'm counting stitches every time there's an increase...something I should have done the first time. I'm almost back to where I was before I ripped it out and so far, so good. I like the yarn, but still not loving it for this project. I already have a stripy pair of fingerless mitts and was hoping to knit a solid colour pair. However, I needed to pick yarn from my stash after spending way too much at the yarn sale in January. Here's what this reknit looks like:


The last thing I worked on is still in the planning stages. I have a lot of yarn leftover from Sky Scarf I did a few years ago.  If you look closely, you'll see some dust.


I knew I was going to make a shawl, but I wasn't sure which one. Now that I've thought about it, I'm pretty sure I'm going to go ahead with Sand Layers ( my version). I've already made one like this, but the designer created a new edging and since I adore this pattern, I thought I'd make another one. It should look a bit different if I use all five colours.

This coming week, I hope to continue work on the scarves and fingerless mitts.  I'm anxious to start the new shawl, so I'll probably do that as well.

Needlework Tuesday is hosted by Heather over at Books and Quilts.    If you'd done any crafting this week that you'd like to share with others, please head over to Heather's blog and use the Mr. Linky to link up your post, so others can enjoy your creations.